To all the mothers out there / Making 2019 YOUR year

Today I realised that January 2019 is almost over and I haven’t written a single thing!!

Wow right ? This is something I enjoy and use as a sort of “dear diary”, and yet I forgot about it completely and it doesn’t end there; I haven’t read one page of the books I love, I haven’t seen the friends I adore in ages and the list goes on and on.

Why you may ask ? Well I had a baby. The problem with this statement is that although this is true, it is not the only thing that keeps me from doing what I love and what brings me joy. Its the guilt that follows from not being “productive” while my baby is finally sleeping (I know I am not alone on this).

I seem to feel like I have to so everything myself , which is not true , my husband helps and everything does not have to be done in one day – hence the exhaustion.

The washing can wait a day (well sometimes anyway) the dishes can wait till tonight, sometimes you just have to take a minute during the day to do something that brings YOU joy. Selfish right ? NO ! The happier you are , the happier your kids will be , it overflows into so many areas of our lives and we don’t even realize it. Being more relaxed and happier tends to also be good for your marriage or relationship; you are less irritable and even feel a little bit more rested and positive.

I for one don’t believe in new years resolutions, I believe that you can make changes and better yourself any day of the year , and the best time is NOW ! Make time for yourself, do more of what you enjoy, even if you literally have to schedule it to make it happen. If there is a will there is a way.

Heres to more writing and reading in 2019 !

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Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

How to decide on which products to buy for your baby

Oh my word there is just so much out there these days, that I have no idea what to use and what not to use, the worst part of it all is; is that there are so many good products and devices out these days, that it really comes down to which one you like more, or is cuter. This must really be a big challenge to companies out there to make their product more attractive than the next one (so glad that is not my job).

I have three slings, we actually just bought another one today, more expensive than all the rest – ridiculous right? the reason for the other three are because people told me to buy them because they work, well, that is just it, it does work – for them. It is so difficult these days to decide which would work better for your baby, previously, you would just buy the one with the best reviews and one that is “pricey” and you know you made the right decision, but now there are just too many products out there with good reviews.

I myself have tried a few, and have now found what works best for me and my baby, i will share a few with you guys;

The 4 Stage Car Seat

We bought a travel system, you know, those that come with a pram and a car seat. This worked so well for us when she was a newborn, you could leave her in her car seat if she was sleeping and just transfer her to her pram, hassle free.

The problem with this system, is that this car seat basically only works for the first 6 months (for us anyway) she got too tall for the car seat and it became increasingly difficult to put her in and take her out when going places (as she now refused to sleep in it when in the pram). We ended up buying a car seat that has 4 stages – from birth till 36 kilograms. It faces backwards until about 9 kilograms and then it can face forward, its more comfortable and so much easier to put her into.

The reason I am suggesting this is that, although the normal car seat works well when your baby is a newborn, this stage of life is so fleeting and before you know it, you have to spend double the amount to buy a bigger car seat anyway. So for us, we will use this one for our next baby from the start.

Stokke My Carrier

We currently have 4 baby carriers (yes I know don’t judge), i so badly wanted to be a “babywearer” that i was adamant it was just the wrong sling. Now, 7 months later, we found the “stokke my carrier” and I was right ! (well maybe, could also be because she is now older, who knows), but it works, she loves it, and we are now planning on using it for our trip to Australia this week.

This carrier is a three in one (front facing, outward facing, and a back carrier) it grows with your baby, and you can use it up until 15 kilograms/ 3 years old. It is truly amazing and so comfortable to wear and easy to use, I don’t need my husband’s help to put her in or take her out.

All and all, we are very happy with this product, although it is a bit more expensive, it is worth every penny, and we see it as an investment.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what works for you, your lifestyle, are you out and about more with your baby, or traveling more, all these aspects play a role in which products you use for your baby, these two products are just a few examples of what to consider, and the possibilities are endless, so take a breath, read through all the reviews and try a few before making your decision.

As new moms, we always have this “idea” of how it will be having a baby, and what we would like to do with them, this however, is rarely reality (ask me i know), so wait a while, get to know your baby and yourself as a mother before making expensive purchases.

Happy shopping moms 🙂

 

When Even Your Insides Are Tired || Mom Tired

Have you ever felt like your tired like in your bones ? I don’t know how else to explain it , who am I kidding , off course you have ! This happens to all of us , but I honestly believe “mom tired” is a thing !

This is me today , after this week with Paige , I just feel drained , emotionally, physically , mentally , and wait , is there another one ? I forget 🤫😳

Today we had friends over , and as much as I would love to kick back and have a few drinks , have some snacks , chat to my friends or just relax a little bit , but I cant , I have a 5 month old that is still busy sleep training !

But then I put my baby girl in my lap and just hold her , and everything just disappears, every single day I look at her and think “I cant love you anymore than I do right now” , and every day that love grows ! 🧡

So yes, today I am extremely exhausted to the point where I want to ugly cry , but I wouldn’t have it any other way, looking after my baby girl is the biggest blessing in the world !

Angelique

How my own sleeping patterns are making more sense since having a baby

I for one have never really paid much attention to sleeping, loved it, need it, done. No analyzing needed on this one, since becoming a mother though, I have come to realize just how vital it all really is, and how complicated it is.

My husband and I always talk about “the sleep window” – this window is that sweet spot where our baby girl is tired enough to go to bed, but not too tired or overtired, we often miss it as you can imagine, so this window is so important to narrow down, for everyone’s sake.

I have since realized that I have a similar “window” for sleep; I get into bed, and if I do not start overthinking on the silliest things, I can go to sleep quite easily, if this does not happen, and I start thinking, it is as if I am not tired all of a sudden. This made me think, it is exactly what happens to my baby, she is tired, gets overstimulated by the smallest thing, and boom; she is alert again (still tired though, and then we go to the dark side – over tiredness).

So now, not only are we vigilantly watching our baby for her “sleep window”, I am now also aware of my own “sleep window” ha ha (as if I did not have enough to do).

For us, the biggest struggle with our baby has been sleep, our household is ruled by nap time and awake time and windows of all sorts, how life has changed since we became parents, I used to sleep in on weekends until about 10 AM, now I am up at 5 AM and by 10 AM i have done so many things, that I could almost fit a whole day in to those 5 hours.

Late nights for me is just not an option; on the one hand, going out and having fun is amazing and sometimes just what you need , but on the other hand, you hate yourself for doing it at 5 am the next morning, so for me, this is just not worth it at this time. I do believe that once our baby can go stay at grandma’s house for the night , this will definitely change !

Sleep is vital not only to our sanity but to our overall well-being, it is what gives us the energy to tackle the next day, and any situation we might face, we do not always realize just how important sleep is to our health, so many studies out there have proven that it helps with metabolism, skin, mental health, and so much more, yet we seem to brush it off because we have too much to do.

So there you go ladies, go have your nap, its vital to your health!

Facts about a C-Section and a newborn I never knew as First time mom

I might have been a bit naive; after all; I do have a “wing it” kind of attitude towards life, so if you are calculated and plan everything out, then this post will be of no use to you, because you will know all these things beforehand, for me however, so many things about my procedure and newborn caught me by surprise, I was so not prepared for this.

C-Section

  • It is quite uncomfortable to be awake and start naked in front of the doctors and nurses in the theater – I don’t know about you , but somehow, being awake for a surgery was scary enough for me, I did not even think of all the little things that would be so intense, for me, once the epidural was placed and they lay me down on the operating table and took my hospital gown off, I felt like I could just die right there! I have never felt so self-conscious and vulnerable in my entire life, it was horrible (I know doctors see it every day, but still, it was so intense for me).
  • Shaking – I did not know that once that epidural is placed that I would shiver for basically the duration of the whole procedure, and I mean, properly, at one point it was so bad that I could barely speak, the only way to describe it; when you are cold, and you start shivering uncontrollably? For me this was what it felt like, just more intense and for longer. I also still had random “shiver attacks” at night for a few weeks afterwards.
  • Back Pain – I did not know that I would have intense back pain for several weeks after the surgery (due to the epidural) this did go away quickly though.
  • Looking after a newborn and recovering from a surgery is no joke – Although I expected as much; I did not realize just how hard it would be; even though you are no longer pregnant, you still cant bend down, or walk without everything hurting, in fact, new areas hurt now But at least you can take some pain medication now.
  • The pain – To be honest; I expected worse pain from it all, but to me, the only time it was ever unbearable was at 1 am the first night, where I thought I was dying, the rest I could handle.
  • Recovery – Recovery for me was much longer than I anticipated, after the first three days, I felt much better and walking around became easier, but my stomach was still very tender to touch and getting dressed was no easy task, my whole body felt stiff for weeks on end.

Newborn

  • Newborn need to lay on their side – Who knew! In the hospital I placed my baby on her back and the nurse told me to place her on her side to prevent choking on milk or spit up, this caught me by surprise because I did not even think about it that way, but now it makes total sense.
  • Newborns need to have 10 wet nappies a day – This is to ensure that they are eating enough and getting enough nutrients from the milk, change your baby’s nappy before every feed (this also ensures that they are more awake for the feed)
  • Not all babies like to be swaddled – Despite what the experts tell you; not all babies enjoy being swaddled, my baby hated it, she was swaddled for about the first 3 weeks and after that she would scream if we swaddled her and break free, she is 6 months old now and still hates a blanket over her.
  • “Babywearing” is not for everyone – A friend of mine suggested that I buy a sling for my baby as it allows you to get more done during the day; once again, my baby hated every second of it, I ended up with three different wraps just to be sure. Lesson – every baby is different!
  • Your baby does not like bath time or getting dressed – I never thought of it like this; but your baby hates bath time or dressing in their first few weeks of life, the reason for this is simple; they are not used to it, now (well my baby hates when I pull anything over her head), but she loves bath time.

These are but a few examples, but maybe it could help you be more prepared than I was, and not caught off guard, although parenthood will always surprise you in one way or another, maybe you can just be aware of the little things.

There is just never a dull moment when you are a new mom, embrace the chaos!

 

 

 

Your baby deserves a happy mom

Babies feed off their moms, whatever mood you are in, your baby feels it too and it changes their mood as well.

Have you ever noticed the days where you are just happy and relaxed how “easy” your baby is? – That is because they can feel our emotions, luckily, as they get older, you can hide your own personal issues and struggles easier from them with a smile, but when they are little, you are the only source for information they have; I was very upset a while ago, just had a week from hell, and I busted out into tears as I was changing my baby’s nappy, and the next thing, she also started crying, out of the blue, nothing was wrong with her, she just woke up from a nap, it was simply because her mom was upset, and that upset her.

I know as mothers we tend to put ourselves second for the sake of our children , and rightly so; but being unhappy in the long run, only affects them negatively, they grow up with a mom that rarely smiles, that is maybe too busy because she is trying to avoid thinking about the things that are wrong in her life (I speak from experience), and one that finds no joy in the little things.

What we don’t realize is that this sets an example for our children, it sets the “vibe” that they grow up in, and it stays with them, think back; you remember how your household was when you grew up, you can tell people whether it was a happy one, or one with many negative aspects.

So make the hard decisions, make a point of being happier and more positive, not only for your baby, but for you as well, live a happier life, cut out what makes you unhappy and keep what does, life is simple once we decide it is, the mind is a powerful thing, learn to use it to your advantage, after all, your baby does not need a perfect mom, just a happy one.